Mental health trust ‘incredibly grateful’ to businesses for providing key equipment

PUBLISHED: 08:00 10 April 2020 | UPDATED: 08:00 10 April 2020

Stuart Richardson, NSFT chief operating officer. Picture: NSFT

Stuart Richardson, NSFT chief operating officer. Picture: NSFT


Norfolk businesses have been praised for donating litres of hand sanitiser and thousands of face shields to mental health staff.

The Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust has praised companies from across the region for producing the vital equipment.

Black Shuck, in Fakenham, makes craft gins but swapped to produce hand sanitiser for key workers, care homes, retail staff, homeless people and the emergency services.

The business has made more than 6,000 litres since early March and supplied 150 bottles and 10 five litre containers to NSFT at cost price.

Sarah Saunders, who co-owns Black Shuck alongside Patrick Saunders, said: “We decided from the outset that this was not a money-making venture but an opportunity to do our bit for our community.

“We hope this is not a long-term project for us. But, for now, we are very glad to be able to support those on the frontline and do our bit and help others at this critical time.”

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Loddon family-run business Panel Graphic has also offered to make around 4,000 full face shields each day with the potential to produce 200,000 for key workers.

So far, they have supplied 2,000 to NSFT to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Steve Earl, managing director, said: “Now is the time more than ever for businesses and individuals to come together to help our National Health Service. They are there to care for us all every day without us even realising it – but now they are risking their own lives too. If we can help even in a small way, then we are proud to be able to do so.”

NSFT has received a donation of 500 plastic bottles from Gloucester based company, Patrico, into which hand sanitiser can be decanted.

Stuart Richardson, NSFT chief operating officer, said: “We have been blown away by the fantastic response and offers of extra support we’ve received from both the public and businesses.

“Everyone is keen to find innovative ways to do their bit during the coronavirus pandemic, and we are incredibly grateful to them.”

This week the trust announced it would be offering video consultations to make sure service users continue to receive support for their mental health during the coronavirus pandemic.

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